British Vogue is among the league of publications to hop onboard the transgender bandwagon with its latest issue, which celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom.
The cover features women it refers to as the “new suffragettes,” featuring the likes of politicians Stella Creasy and Sophie Walker, writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, and a few others—each of whom is fighting for some form of women’s rights and social justice.
One of the women, artist Gillian Wearing, claims that fighting to change stereotypes of women is “harder than fighting for the vote.”
Among the lineup is Paris Lees, a biologically male former sex worker and “trans awareness campaigner.”
Thank you @Edward_Enninful for including me in @BritishVogue, and this special moment, with these strong, smart and inspiring women. As we celebrate 100 years since women have been able to vote in the UK, let’s make sure we’re fighting for ALL women. Our diversity is our strength
Lees spent much of his life as a man. At age 16, the troubled youth was convicted for robbery and spent eight months in prison. He turned his life around following the sentence and started to identify as a female upon his enrollment to university, according to a BBC News interview in 2013.
While Lee’s personal struggles and his efforts to overcome them may be admirable, his inclusion in an issue about suffragists is puzzling, given that the original suffragists were women who stood up for the right to vote, and possess the right to self-determination.
As Daily Caller’s Jena Greene remarks, someone who spent much of his life as a man has no right to claim women’s struggles as his own for sympathy points.
“There’s little difference between Paris Lees and Ja Du, the white guy from Florida who identifies as a Filipino. Last time I checked, you don’t get to identify yourself with a group that has a history of oppression just because you feel like fighting for a cause. The world doesn’t work that way,” she writes.
“I highly doubt those tough British suffragettes would go for a guy telling them that he’s now a woman and he understands all the hardship they went through to get a basic right,” she says. “When did it become boring to just celebrate suffrage, emancipation, and other groundbreaking civil rights? When did we have to start embodying it to prove our political correctness?”
Photograph courtesy of Prospect Magazine.
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